Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Being in an accident

Name: Mike Mezquita
From: Tampa, FL
Grade: College Freshman
School: Hillsborough Community College
Votes: 0

Most
of us take driving as a rite of passage as something that everyone
gets to do as they transition into becoming an adult. It’s a sign
of freedom, a milestone that shows we’ve been granted a privilege
that not everyone has until they prove they can get behind the wheel.

I
had my license for only a few months before I was involved in a car
accident that would forever change how I view driving. It was an
accident that occurred on the highway in the middle of the night
where my father and I crashed into a barrier after losing control of
our car. There was no one else involved in the accident, just us and
a passerby that was kind enough to see if we were ok as the police
came. If we had been hit by another car, I might not be here today
explaining why not only it is crucial to know how to prevent an
accident from occurring but what you should do when one does.

I
remember being in driving school and learning what were the major
causes of traffic accidents; texting and driving, falling asleep at
the wheel, or driving under the influence all things drivers should
avoid no matter the reason. I remember watching videos of what
happened to drivers when they did not wear a seat belt or how
sticking the front end out of your car at the cross section could
cause an accident but I also remember learning from my teacher that
sometimes accidents just happen whether it be the fault of driver or
some other cause. But the one thing I don’t remember watching a
video of was what you should do when you’re in a major car
accident. Yes, my instructor taught me about exchanging insurance
information, taking pictures of the accident, about calling the
police if someone is injured and how we should make a claim with our
insurance afterward. Knowing all this was still not enough. After
being in the accident I felt shell-shocked and dazed. At that moment
I never felt so unprepared. I didn’t know whether I was supposed to
stay in the car while in the middle of the highway or if I should
stand still and dial 911 for help. I didn’t even realize that my
door was slammed shut by the dent in it.

From
this experience I learned that I needed a safety plan. The first
thing you need to do is see if your injured and able to move. If you
have passengers checking on them is also a good idea. Calling 911
after a major accident should one of your top priorities as they can
diverge traffic and help anyone stuck or injured. You should also
carry a seatbelt cutter should you be stuck and something capable of
opening a window. Be aware of your surroundings to see if you are in
any immediate danger that requires you to move out your vehicle.
Safety comes first.


Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".